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Parliamentary record : Part I debates (10 May 1990)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (10 May 1990)


Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Thursday 10 May 1990 Dear Sir/Madam, I write to you in reference to the proposed legislation of compulsory lights on for motorcycles which is to be discussed at the next ATAC meeting. The proposal for ICompulsory Lights On l has been based on a number of studies which I believe include the 1977 TARU (NSW) study, the 1980 Hurt Report (USA), the 1980 TRRL report (UK) and others. A perusal of the studies can only lead one to come to the conclusion that the results are somewhat subjective, in that not only can you prove that 1 i ghts on will be effective, but you can also prove the exact opposite, in relation to accident prevention. Some of these studies are inconclusive to say the least, some of the others were carried out in countries whose environmental conditions have little relation to Australia, and the rest are either based on insufficient sample numbers, or have suspect methodology. I believe the federal governmentls Vehicle Standards Advisory Committee has seri ous ly erred in recommend; ng the i ntroduct i on of this measure as an Australian Design Rule. Apart from the use of questionable studies, the other main areas of concern are: 1. Responsibility - I am concerned that in the event of accidents, motorcyclists may be required to prove that their lights were working at the time. If they canlt, they may be held responsible, even when not actually at fault! 2. Safety - Such legislation negates my right to protect myself by evaluating the prevailing conditions, and act accordingly. L object strongly to the possibil ity of being forced to j eopa rd i se my 1 i fe due to ill-con s i dered legislation. In fact, such legislation, if introduced, raises the possibility of legal action against the government, should complying with it prove to be a contributing factor to an accident. Whilst I support voluntary lights on, I am compelled, as a voter and a motorcyclist to convey my disgust and concern at the suggestion of compul sory 1 ights on. If the federal government is really serious about reducing road accidents, perhaps it should look at results of the METAL rider training program which was introduced in July 1986. Its effectiveness is borne out by a decrease in accidents involving motorcycles by approximately 40%. Obviously, the introduction of a compulsory driver training scheme could be expected to have a similar dramatic effect and, need I say, could be easily implemented at a small cost to the government. In closing, I would just like to say ILet those who ride decide l and letls have IEducation not Legislation l . Mr FINCH: I turn now. to the second matter I wish to discuss. It is a pity that the member for Stuart could not attend thi s week because he intimated that he intended to tell us all about the incompetence of the Department of Transport and Works. In speaking in the treaty debate on 1 May, he alleged that my department was incompetent or that I was incompetent in my administration of it, that buildings were not being built 9684